If you have a tonneau cover on your truck and the rails are damaged or worn out, you may be wondering where you can purchase replacement rails. Tonneau covers are useful accessories that protect cargo in truck beds, and having functional rails is essential for proper installation and use.
Fortunately, there are several places where you can find replacement rails for many common tonneau cover models and brands. This article will explore the various options for purchasing new rails so you can get your tonneau cover working like new again.
What are Tonneau Covers and What Are the Rails For?
Before getting into where to buy replacement rails, let’s briefly go over what tonneau covers are and what role the rails play.
Tonneau covers are protective lids or covers that mount over the truck bed. They come in hard folding, soft roll-up, and retractable styles. The main purpose of a tonneau cover is to shield cargo from weather and prying eyes as well as help improve gas mileage by streamlining airflow over the bed.
The rails are long metal strips that attach to the top rim of the truck bed. They provide the foundation for mounting and aligning the tonneau cover. The rails may be part of the original tonneau cover system or added on later as an accessory.
Over time, the rails may bend, break, corrode, or otherwise wear out. Replacing damaged rails with new ones can restore proper positioning and smooth operation of the tonneau cover.
Where Can I Buy Replacement Rails for My Tonneau Cover?
If your tonneau cover rails need replacing, here are some great places to purchase new ones:
One of the best options is to buy replacement rails directly from the manufacturer of your tonneau cover. Most major brands sell individual replacement parts like rails for their covers.
Benefits of ordering from the manufacturer:
- Rails are guaranteed to fit your specific tonneau cover model
- Can get exact original equipment replacements
- May be available even for discontinued or older models
- Easy to locate part numbers
Some popular tonneau brands that sell replacement rails:
Auto Parts Stores
Major auto parts retail chains may carry replacement rails for some common tonneau cover brands. This allows you to get the parts easily without ordering online.
Stores to check for tonneau rails:
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Advance Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- NAPA Auto Parts
Call or visit your local store to ask if they stock rails for your particular tonneau cover. Make sure to note the year, make, and model of your truck along with the tonneau cover brand and model.
There are many online retailers that sell a wide selection of tonneau cover replacement parts, including rails. Purchasing online is convenient and rails can often be shipped very quickly.
Good online sources for rails:
Be sure to search using your truck specifics and tonneau cover model. Compare options to find an exact replacement rail set.
eBay and Other Resale Sites
eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and similar sites allow individuals to sell used tonneau cover parts. You may be able to find high quality secondhand rails for much cheaper than buying new.
Just be careful to match the rails to your specific tonneau cover so you know they will fit properly. Ask the seller plenty of questions to ensure proper compatibility.
Truck and Tonneau Cover Forums
You can create a “WTB” (Want to Buy) post explaining the exact rails you need. Fellow members who have extra may respond.
How Do I Identify the Correct Replacement Rails?
To find the right replacement rails for your tonneau cover, you will need some specific identifying information:
- Truck year, make, and model – The rails must match your truck bed size and shape
- Tonneau cover brand – Each brand often uses proprietary rail designs
- Tonneau cover model – Rails can vary even between models from the same manufacturer
- Rail measurements – Length, style, and mount type need to match
The best way to identify the proper replacement rails is to remove your current rails and check them for any part numbers or identifying markings. You can also measure the length.
Alternatively, locate your original order information for the tonneau cover to get the specific model details.
With the exact tonneau cover brand, truck specifications, and measurements in hand, you can find perfect fitting rails from the various sources mentioned in this article.
Installing the New Rails
Once you’ve purchased new replacement rails for your tonneau cover, they will need to be installed. Proper installation is crucial for securing and aligning the cover. Here are some tips for smooth rail replacement:
- Clean truck bed thoroughly to remove dirt and debris
- Apply a protective film/pad on rail contact areas to prevent scratching
- Consult manufacturer instructions for step-by-step guidance
- Attach rails securely using clamps or recommended fasteners
- Adjust alignment if necessary for optimal tonneau cover fitness
- Check that cover opens, closes, and locks properly after installing rails
- Reseal any drill holes and touch up paint if needed
Take care when removing old rails to avoid damaging the truck bed. Work slowly and be prepared with tools for removing stuck fasteners.
Installing new rails may take some time and effort, but fresh rails will restore functionality and appearance to your tonneau cover.
Maintain Your Tonneau Cover to Maximize Life
To avoid frequently needing to replace worn rails and other parts, be sure to properly maintain your tonneau cover:
- Wash regularly with soap and water to prevent salt and grime buildup
- Lubricate hinges, clamps, and moving parts as specified
- Inspect rails and truck bed mounts for damage or looseness
- Keep cover aligned and tighten hardware when needed
- Use care when loading/unloading the truck bed to avoid impact damage
- Replace worn components like rails early before breakage occurs
Proper care and maintenance will help your tonneau cover last for years of reliable service life. But even the best looked after covers may eventually need new rails or parts. Use this article to locate ideal replacement rails when the time comes.
Finding the right replacement rails to restore your tonneau cover is easy when armed with the model information and by checking the sources discussed here. From manufacturer websites to local auto parts stores to online retailers, high-quality replacement rails are available for most common tonneau cover models.
With fresh new rails installed, your tonneau cover can get back to protecting your truck bed cargo and streamlining airflow. Just be diligent about regular tonneau cover maintenance and cleaning to avoid frequent rail repairs or replacements.